A Visas Guide to Help You Get Sponsored in Australia

Temporary 457 visa (skilled visas) is to be replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage visa TSS  Visa in March 2018.

N.B. Implementation of these reforms will begin from 19th April 2017.

It is by far the most popular of all the visas available that South Africans go onto before getting permanent residency.

It’s true that there are companies in Australia who promise sponsorship once you get the job but then renege on the deal.

My nephew’s experience is a prime example but it all ended up OK. He and his family became Australian citizens on Australia Day January 2017.


Citizen Certificate

For peace of mind get the paperwork  sorted out as soon as you can, so you don’t run out of time. Make sure you get everything down in writing before committing yourself to giving your new employer 4 years of your hard working life.

N.B. Understand this is NOT a registered  migration agents website and the information below is only a guide. We will try to keep it as up to date as possible but because things are constantly changing some information could be incorrect*

About Temporary 457 Work Visas

The temporary 457 work visa is a sponsored visa that allows overseas workers to work in Australia for a two year short term or maximum of four years when after the first  three years are up, you can apply for permanent residency through the sponsorship of your employer.

The subclass 457 visa is probably the most common visa in Australia, other than visitor or student visas.

N.B. When your four years are up it is possible to renew your 457 visa for another four years if, for whatever reason, you don’t want to apply for permanent residency.

If you are on the short 2 year visa you can apply to stay for another 2 years. There is no pathway to permanent residency on this visa.

Each process is different for every 457 visa applicant and depends on many factors.

The key criteria for a 457 visa applicant is that they must have skills to perform the nominated role. This means a formal qualification or equivalent years of relevant work experience in the nominated position and a level of English, IELTS, to meet the 457 visa standard.

  • You are eligible for Permanent Residence after your first 3 years on the 457 visas.
  • Your 457 entitles spouses, de facto partners and any other eligible dependents to study or work in Australia without worrying about their visa status.
  • It is a 457 visa requirement that you have your own private Health Insurance while living in Australia.
  • You, or your new employer (sponsor) can do the 457 visa application.
  • There is no longer a limit on the number of people a sponsor can sponsor.
  • New company sponsorship applications will now have to stipulate how many places they want to be able to nominate in the life of the sponsorship agreement.
  • If things don’t work out with your sponsor, 457 visa holders are granted 90 days to find new sponsorship.
  • The market salary assessment exemption threshold is AU$250 000.
  • Everyone who is not a UK, USA, Ireland or New Zealand passport holder must prove English language ability, unless you have five continuous years secondary schooling or higher in English that satisfies the requirement.
  • Skills assessments for project and program administrators and specialist managers not elsewhere classified, are required for 457 visas.
  • It is important to note that start-up businesses which have been trading for less than 6 months will only be granted an initial 12-month sponsorship agreement. These  connecting 457 visas will also only be granted for 12 months.

The Big Question – How long does it take to receive 457 visa approval?


Good question, and the short answer is there is no specific date. For example you won’t get a visa in 25 days exactly. It varies from applicant to applicant. Currently if you send in all your documents simultaneously, the usual turnaround time is 90 days.

It is recommended you send in all your documents at the same time. Each time you send in another forgotten document more days will be added to your application approval time. You need to have all your duck in a row for a speedy assessment.

What do 457 Visas cost?

Each of the three approvals (Business Sponsor Approval, Nomination Approval and 457 Visa) attract a fee upon lodgement of the application with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

A schedule of DIAC fees (2017) and charges applicable to applications lodged at DIAC.

  • the employer applies for approval as a 457 Standard Business Sponsor (SBS) (DIBP Application fee $420)
  • the employer nominates a position for approval under the 457 visa scheme (DIBP Application fee $330)
  • the visa applicant (the nominee) applies for a 457 visa (DIBP Application fee $1060 per applicant

In the nomination application for your 457 visa, your employer needs to state what your guaranteed annual salary will be.

They also need to provide evidence of what the Australian market salary rate is for your role. This can be done by providing market salary survey data, or by providing the contract/payslip of an Australian citizen or permanent resident that is working for your employer.

He or she needs to be working in the same role and location as your nominated role.

Your employer needs to pay you at least the Australian market rate for your role and ensures that employers don’t just hire foreign employees because their salary demands are less than the Australian market rate.

NB **If you need to transfer money from another country to your Australian account we recommend using CurrencyFair. They not only give you the cheapest rates but you can save 1000’s of dollars over the course of a year.

Spouse and de facto partner

marriage certificate is all that is needed to prove who is the spouse of the primary applicant. To prove a de facto relationship, well it’s a bit more complicated but can also be done.

Acceptable evidence of a de facto relationship may include, but is not limited to:-

  • Evidence of co-habitation
  • Joint bank account statements
  • Joint ownership of property
  • Billing accounts in joint names

If you are already in Australia and are not able to prove that you are in a de facto relationship, it is still possible to work towards de facto acceptance while remaining in Aus.

The person who is not on the visa will get a tourist visa, or depending on their passport, a holiday working visa which then enables you to start working towards proving your de facto relationship.

This you can do by opening a joint bank account and have both your names on your new lease and utility bills.

You must prove to the DIAC that you are currently in a marriage or have been a in a de facto relationship (heterosexual or same sex) with your partner for a minimum of 6 months.

Registering a relationship (in certain states) also suffices as evidence of a de facto relationship and negates the 6-month rule.

If you have a great employer sponsoring you they will probably do most of the paperwork for you!

Just remember if the relationship breaks down and you go your separate ways, the visa will be cancelled.

How can secondary applicants be included in a 457 visa application?

Secondary applicants can be attached to a 457 visa application two ways.

  • 1) They can either be included on your application or,
  • 2) if you already hold a 457 visa, through a separate visa application.

On your application you may include secondary visa applicants.

Secondary applicants must meet the secondary criteria. Including secondary applicants on the original 457 visa application will be an option for people who have dependents at the time they are applying for their visa.

This will not be an option for people who want to include secondary applicants after their visa has been granted.

IF you have ALREADY been granted a 457 visa then a separate visa application will be necessary. 

They will still be assessed against the secondary requirements as a secondary visa applicant.

Note:- This process will be appropriate for applicants who did not initially include their family on their initial 457 visa application.

It will also be appropriate for someone currently on a 457 visa who has since entered into a de-facto relationship or married someone who is not an Australian citizen or does not have residence in Australia.

Subclass 457 Visa Occupations

Eligible Occupations for Subclass 457 Business (Long Stay) Visa

Overseas skilled workers may be sponsored by an Australian business or overseas business operating in Australia for a temporary or permanent residence visa depending upon the applicant’s skills/qualification/work experience and the employer’s location/position available and business needs.

The Australian Government has prepared a list of occupations to identify specific skill shortages in Australia.

Business (Long Stay) subclass 457 visa applicants must be able to demonstrate work experience and/or qualifications which match an occupation that is on the gazetted 457 Eligible Occupations List.

Business sponsors must have a position vacant which is on this list. 

Use this link  to confirm if the vacant position meets the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) requirements.

Here is the list of 457 eligible visa occupations  MLTSSL from 19th April 2017.

Medium and Long -Term Strategic Skills List

Also be sure to also check out the list of ComLaw eligible visa occupation.

VETASSESS has a tool on their site that helps you determine if your occupation is general professional or trade.

Character requirements for your 457 visa application

Apply first for your Police Clearances as they can sometimes take forever and will hold up your visa application process.

To be granted an Australian work visa you need to be of “good character”.

To prove you are of “good character” you need to provide police certificates for each country that you have lived in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years since turning 16.

Fortunately,  most countries seem to have getting police clearances sorted and it’s not such a big problem anymore.

Health Requirements for temporary entry into Australia

Here is the link to the PDF from the Australian Immigration website:

Health insurance is a requirement for your 457 visa. I have heard to the contrary but have not found any documentation to verify this.

I have a passport of a country (not South Africa) with a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia. Do I still need insurance?

If you are from a country with a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia, you may be eligible to access Medicare.

For further information, please refer to the Medicare Australia website.
See: Medicare Australia – Visitors to Australia

Being enrolled with Medicare under reciprocal health care arrangements is sufficient to meet the health insurance requirement at visa grant and to comply with visa condition 8501.

You can only enroll with Medicare if you are in Australia. If you have enrolled with Medicare you should provide evidence that you have been issued with a Medicare card as part of your application.

If you are overseas, you must arrange adequate insurance for your initial period in Australia and provide evidence of this insurance as part of your application.

You should also be aware that once you have enrolled with Medicare, you need to contact the Australian Taxation Office to see if you will be subject to the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

This might affect the type of health insurance policy you need to maintain while in Australia.

Adding a new born child to my 457 Visa

If you have had a baby since your visa was granted then your child is eligible to be added onto your current 457 visa.

To do this you will need to provide the Department of Immigration and Border Protection with identity documentation, i.e. passport and birth certificate, when these become available.

When the time comes to apply for permanent residency you will need to include your child as a secondary applicant on that application for them to become permanent residents.

If you have any questions about secondary applicants and 457 visas or would like to include a secondary applicant in your 457 visa application please contact a migration agent or migration lawyer ( they are not the same) closest to you.

South Africans to Oz wish you all the best with your 457 visa application.

An alternative pathways to permanent residency 

Subclass 189 or 190 Visas

Many medium long-term 457 visa holders can transition after 3 years to permanent residency through the sponsorship of their employer.

However, you may be able to apply for permanent residency without the sponsorship of your employer if eligible for a Subclass 189 or 190 visa.

A subclass 189 visa is the ‘independent’ visa, and the 190 visa is a state-sponsored visa. However, both visas are part of the General Skilled Migration scheme.

The 189 visa is called the Skilled Independent visa and is an invitation and points-based visa. Before you can apply for this visa, you need to firstly prepare and submit an EOI (Expression of Interest).

In the EOI you provide your personal details, employment history, qualifications etc.

Note:- Visit the Skilled Occupations Lists page to see if your occupation is on the Medium Long-Term Strategic Skills List MLTSSL

Once you have completed your EOI, it is stored in SkillSelect and is valid for two years.

SkillSelect is an online expression of interest service for skilled workers and business people who are interested in migrating to Australia.

Incomplete EOIs will also be stored for two years, but will not be eligible to receive an invitation.

The number of points you obtain are based on various factors such age, experience and qualifications etc. DIAC (Department of Immigration and Citizenship) will invite the applicants with the highest points to apply.

The minimum points required for an invitation is 60.

You must receive an invitation from DIAC before you can apply.

The occupations listed In the combined Medium Long-Term Strategic Skills List MLTSSL can be used for a 190 visa application 2017.

Check out our blog on Job Sponsorship here

Read about registered MARA migration agents here